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Sheep and goat sale wild and woolly

It looks like the local auction is acting as strangely as financial markets

The local sheep and goat market must be watching the wild swings on Wall Street and taking notes. Prices at the Feb. 7 sale at Winnipeg Livestock Auction were taking their own dramatic legs up and down. The 80 animals that went into the ring were also clearly following the trends noted in the latest Ontario Stockyard Report.

During the sheep sale wool ewes dominated and once again buyers appeared to be picking what they wanted based on their own instincts. Five 145-pound Rideau-cross ewes brought $1.21/lb. while another group of 13 145-pound ewes brought $1.11/lb. Five pregnant 165-pound ewes brought $1.12/lb.

The biggest surprise was the large selection of rams at this sale, with wool varieties dominating the class, representing a good opportunity for buyers looking to herd build. Prices ranged narrowly from $1.14 to $1.15/lb. Another group of rams ranged from $1.20 to $1.23/lb. Weight showed little effect on prices, but certain breeds seemed to spark interest.

The selection of heavyweight lambs was also good for buyers. The prices were definitely dropping, following the market in Ontario, ranging from $1.67 to $1.69/lb.

The market lamb segment was dominated by wool lambs, with a price range from $1.77 to $1.79/lb. for 100- and 102-pound lambs. There was one exception of a 95-pound Dorper-cross lamb which brought $1.93/lb.

Prices ranged from $1.92 to $1.97/lb. for feeder lambs. An 85-pound Dorper-cross lamb was within the price range.

Just three 48-pound Rideau-cross lambs represented the lightweight class, bringing $104.40 or $2.175/lb.

Only goat kids were delivered for this sale. With limited selection the pattern was similar to the Ontario market and prices dropped here as well. The 54-pound goat kids included a group of Alpine-cross kids and another of La Mancha-cross goat kids.

The Ontario Stockyard Report showed even with lower numbers of sheep and goats delivered, prices were dropping, including new-crop lambs.

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